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NIDA Notes Articles: Cocaine

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Drug Abuse at Highest Level in Nearly a Decade

December 2010
Reports on 2009 data indicating a rise in drug abuse in the United States and the factors that may have contributed to this increase.

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Drug Cues Outside Awareness Rapidly Trigger Brain's Emotion Centers

October 2009
Describes research showing that cocaine abusers appear to have a rapid neural response to reward cues outside of their awareness, possibly signifying vulnerability to relapse.

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Drugs Contribute to High Rates of Sexually Transmitted Diseases Among Juvenile Offenders

July 2011
Describe a study of newly arrested youths where researchers found correlations between the youths' prevalence of these sexually transmitted diseases and their cocaine and marijuana use.

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EEG Indicates That Cocaine Relapse Vulnerability Peaks 1 to 6 Months Into Abstinence

September 2017
Electroencephalography (EEG) may provide an objective measure of cocaine-addicted participants’ vulnerability to cue-induced relapse. The assessment of cue-induced responsiveness may be useful in the clinical setting for assessing relapse risk and tailoring interventions to maintain abstinence among cocaine-addicted adults. 

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Elevated Rates of Drug Abuse Continue for Second Year

June 2012
Illicit drug use in the United States in 2010 was at its highest level since 2002, according to the most recent report from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. A rise in marijuana use drove the increase. A favorable trend of falling cocaine use continued.

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Endocannabinoid Regulates Cocaine Reward

March 2017
Investigators have shown that 2-AG, an endocannabinoid (i.e., a cannabinoid manufactured within the body, as opposed to plant-derived), augments the cocaine-induced dopamine surge in the brain’s reward system. The discovery adds to evidence that inhibiting activity in the endocannabinoid system might reduce cocaine’s rewarding and addictive effects.  

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Extended Cocaine Exposure Impairs Cognitive Function in Rats

November 2009
Reports an animal study presenting evidence that cocaine causes cognitive deficits that can persist well into abstinence.

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Fewer Young Adults Abuse Cocaine and Methamphetamine, National Survey Finds

December 2008
Reports prevalence rates of illicit drug abuse among youths and young adults based on 2007 data from a national survey of drug use and health.

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Gene Experiment Confirms a Suspected Cocaine Action

October 2007
Reports on the work of addiction researchers who are learning how acute and chronic cocaine exposure regulates certain genes, based on knowledge from developmental and cancer biology.

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Gene Transfer Therapy for Cocaine Addiction Passes Tests in Animals

January 2016
Giving mice a modified version of a naturally occurring gene blocks cocaine’s stimulant effects without affecting the animals’ physiological or metabolic health. The new evidence advances the proposed therapy a step closer to readiness for testing in people.

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